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« The professionals | Main | Unqualified evidence »
Saturday
Dec212013

EU backs down on fracking

For a couple of days I've been meaning to mention Richard North's article about attempts within the EU to crush the onshore gas industry before it even gets off the ground. However, before I got round to doing so, the Commission seems to have backed down:

Fracking for cheap gas moved a step closer today after EU officials dropped proposals for new industry regulations.

The Prime Minister had written to EU president José Manuel Barroso warning him the move would hamper investment and cost jobs.

And after the rethink, David Cameron said:  “I was just very worried that while we are already behind on fracking and unconventional gas compared to America, we would fall even further behind if we had more legal processes to go through.

Whether this is the end of his particular road for the greens in the Environment Directorate of the EU remains to be seen.

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Reader Comments (37)

Whether this is the end of his particular road for the greens in the Environment Directorate of the EU remains to be seen.
Wee touch of the optimist there, I think, Andrew! You know what these people are like.
Also, I haven't seen anything yet to refute North's understanding that the EU is pouring money into the eco-nut tendency's coffers so that they can continue to disrupt and delay matters.
Sounds fairly typical EU to me: "It wisnae me; these big boys in green pullies did it an' ran aff. Ah tellt them tae stop but they didnae heed!"

Dec 21, 2013 at 10:07 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I doubt this is the last. The commisariat won't let it go that easily. They want to bring our economy down and with the help of our beloved president Hollande they are getting ever closer to their goal.

Dec 21, 2013 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

The EU's decision could have nothing to do with the prospect of Taxation Revenues, could it?

Dec 21, 2013 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

And it was obviously our Dave that made the Commission rethink their proposals....

The situation seems [eureferendum.com] more complicated than that.

Dec 21, 2013 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterManniac

The greens will not let up on this. Lean in the Telegraph today reports a claim that fracking fluid is gender-bending.

Dec 21, 2013 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Talking of Hollande. He has been such a success in France, and is so popular that he is bound to turn up soon in an EU sinecure.

Dec 21, 2013 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Stephen Richards
Hollande is a joke. The main reason he got elected was because he wasn't Sarkozy and the French weren't (yet) ready for Le Pen. Even the EU can see that siding with the PS at the moment is not good politics. If ever anyone wanted to screw the CAP the next three years would be the time to do it. If only Merkel hadn't had to get into bed with the Left .....
The interesting thing about next year's Euro-vote is not so much how well UKIP do in the UK (that success has already been discounted both in political circles and in the financial markets) but who comes out on top in France, Germany, and Italy. There is a strong undercurrent of scepticism developing at the grass roots in western Europe.

Dec 21, 2013 at 10:44 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I think it's likely that a they suffered an attack of self awareness - that said, the executive is comprehensively compromised as a result of its unhealthy relationship with Green pressure groups and they won't give up any time soon. As others hint - there will be prepared fall back positions.

I just watched Simon Sebag Montefiore's Byzantium Part III - the final fate of the Ottoman Jannissaries looks like one possible end game for these people - them being a near imperial (and definitely imperious) bloated bureaucracy 'n all.... .

Dec 21, 2013 at 11:03 AM | Registered Commentertomo

re Hollande, without fracking France sells nuclear electricity to UK and Germany. with fracking price would drop.

Dec 21, 2013 at 11:43 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

stewgreen
I don't think France's surplus nuclear electricity sales are going to make a lot of difference to Hollande's problems. But as they say every little helps. He's also said no fraccing whilst he's in power.

There's another Operation Escargot today (very busy on roads here this weekend) in protest over the EcoTax.

Dec 21, 2013 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

A map of the European shale basins may also have some bearing on the French attitude to fracking. They do seem to be under endowed.


http://www.thegwpf.org/go-ahead-fracking-brussels-vows-regulation/

Dec 21, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterroger

@ ssat Dec 21, 2013 at 10:27 AM

"The greens will not let up on this. Lean in the Telegraph today reports a claim that fracking fluid is gender-bending."

You mean it's even worse than already acknowledged ?

Dec 21, 2013 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Fracking for cheap gas moved a step closer today after EU officials dropped proposals for new industry regulations.

This does rather let slip the fact that such regulation is motivated by the protection of established interests, rather than any consideration of negative externalities as the ecoloonies would have it.

Dec 21, 2013 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJake Haye

Fracking for cheap gas moved a step closer today ...
As I've said before, "cheap" gas is the last thing anyone involved in fracking wants to see.

Dec 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

Politicians know their trade, and could just be throwing us a bone while beefing-up their machinations elsewhere.
Dave's trade, I believe, also comes from PR/marketing. I suspect he is still unsure about which way to jump, not least because he doesn't understand the issues, receives such bad advice, and is in a political marriage-from-hell (referring to the LibDems there).

The saddest part of his ignorance is that, as far as energy policy is concerned, it is now almost certainly too late for his decisions to have any impact in the physical world with regard to his government's re-election prospects.

Dec 21, 2013 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Heh, the Bear yawned in his slumbers.
========

Dec 21, 2013 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

@ Joe Public

Dihydrogen Monoxide based drinks with gender bending effects!

Merry Christmas.

Dec 21, 2013 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Chandra it seems that your knowledge of economics is as impressive as your understanding of physics and statistics. Everyone involved in fracking would like to see the production costs lower than those of other forms of energy, so they can make more money, and in particular they would like a level playing field, rather than one in which they are handicapped by spurious regulations while their competitors in wind, solar and nuclear enjoy massive subsidies. That's how the free market can and should work.

Dec 21, 2013 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Frack for Gas and help save the Euro

Dec 21, 2013 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Chandra: Cheap gas is bad


WSJ: Gas prices up. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304866904579268313556134436

"Natural-gas prices climbed nearly 5% to the highest in almost two-and-a-half years as strong demand pulled record volumes of gas from storage last week.

An early winter across much of the U.S. has driven demand for natural gas to heat homes. In addition, some natural-gas production in North Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma has stalled in recent weeks due to frozen equipment, prompting power generators to use more stored supplies, said Aaron Calder, market analyst for Gelber & Associates in Houston.

"This is some of the coldest temperatures that we've seen in 30, 40 years," Mr. Calder said."

Chandra (soon) : Higher gas prices are bad.

Dec 21, 2013 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Dec 21, 2013 at 10:44 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson
In france we say "Il est nul". No matter what in the Euro'elections there will always be a left wing majority both all of the major EU countries.
Another point, "re Hollande, without fracking France sells nuclear electricity to UK and Germany. with fracking price would drop3"

In france we have a major energy gap developing which will come later than in the UK but will be a major crunch right across central europe. In the next 10 years (under eu rules, I think) france must demissionée 22 nuclear power stations. There is one new planned at the moment and one has already been closed as a thank you to the greens for their election support.

There will be no more 2Gw for germany, Italy, spain and the UK.

Dec 21, 2013 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

stewgreen
I don't think France's surplus nuclear electricity sales are going to make a lot of difference to Hollande's problems. But as they say every little helps. He's also said no fraccing whilst he's in power.

Yes, and he proved it very recently. A drilling group ask for licence to search in the 'paris bassin' and was refused.

I had the tyres changed on my car recently and during the whole exercise the mechanic kept saying "hollande est nul, il est nul". There is a lot of speculation about next year's local elections here (I'm not standing for re-election because of windmill corruption). Many of my friends believe that the Partie Socialist will get hammered. We will see no doubt.

Dec 21, 2013 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

A map of the European shale basins may also have some bearing on the French attitude to fracking. They do seem to be under endowed.

Last I read there is a massive bassin right across NE france and into germany and holland. The Paris bassin is known to hold vast reserves. I could be wrong, of course.

Dec 21, 2013 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Whilst chanter is a troll what he says about companies not wanting cheap gas is obviously true but immaterial. Obviously the more expensive gas is the more 'potential' profit there will be for the companies

Dec 21, 2013 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

There do not seem to be any major gas exploration companies interested in the UK market. Good returns in the USA and possible shipment of rigs to China and good rewards there. All they will get here is bad publicity, excessive regulations and throngs of eco-loons supported by Davey. I do not see a market developing.

Dec 21, 2013 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

Dec 21, 2013 at 10:27 AM | ssat


The greens will not let up on this. Lean in the Telegraph today reports a claim that fracking fluid is gender-bending.

Lean best ease-up on the Fairy Liquid then. :)

Dec 21, 2013 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Lean best ease-up on the Fairy Liquid then.
Definitely not, Billy! That stuff helps pay my pension!

Dec 21, 2013 at 8:20 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The Ukraine so desperate to get into the EU.

When they do get in they told to shut cut their Gas and Oil Production and Shut their Coal Fired Power Stations.

Dec 21, 2013 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Lean in the Telegraph offers precisely zero to support such a claim. Not only does he know nothing about the subject, it seems he doesn't even know anybody who might know anything about the subject. If he did, he would give us some information. Who is paying him to write such stuff?

Dec 22, 2013 at 12:46 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

@Mike Jackson "There is a strong undercurrent of scepticism developing at the grass roots in western Europe."

It would be about time.
In the mid-1980s an industry group we funded surveyed the surnames of officials in many activist groups (broadly anti-development ones) as a rough guide to geography. There was a strong, inferred hard core around Germany/Holland/Switzerland/Belgium. Nothing much has changed; perhaps there has been later, harder evidence for origins of discontent in that region.
Bodies such as the Potsdam Institute seem to behind much extremism, banks such as Deutsche Bank seem to have green fingers extending, insurers from the region are pumping up horrible future risk.
.....................
There was a time in history when all nations were about equal. Some took a road to industrialisation and quickly raised their standards of living. Others were slower, or yet to start. Now, we have groups from said region actively trying to cut down the successful nations as it there was some vague type of reparation needed for the sin of being a success. Tall poppies & all that.
I often wonder why this region seems to be such a hotbed of unhappiness. I wish they would sort themselves out and stop trying to interfere in the lives of others.
From Down Under looking on, why on Earth did GB join the EU? Was it not seen what a bunch of control freak nutters they are?

Dec 22, 2013 at 1:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

@Mike Jackson "There is a strong undercurrent of scepticism developing at the grass roots in western Europe."
& Geoff Sherrington:

The trouble is that all the left and centre parties are believers in "Greenery", so the dissent has to move to the Right. The "believers" then hyperventilate calling anyone who disagrees as lunatics, dangerous right wingers etc. Many people are then reluctant to risk encouraging what is called "the hard right" and so the dissent is reduced or marginalised, and supporters don't vote.

We saw this approach in Australia recently, where anything Abbott said was immediately portrayed as just short of jackboot stuff. Fortunately Abbott headed a standard party and kept his head and stayed on course for victory. The ABC, the Greens, Labor and the SMH/Guardian linkage are still trying to label Abbott as a closet Blackshirt; a mistake in my view as they won't regain the votes lost, even though Australia has compulsory voting.

So the change in Europe will only come when one or more semi-conservative parties decide to switch to scepticism and anti-EU bureaucracy for calculated political gain. Perhaps if UKIP do very well next year, this might trigger a switch in attitudes in various European countries.

In the meanwhile, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all, and I hope the Global Warming doesn't prove too unbearable.

Dec 22, 2013 at 4:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

@chandra

'As I've said before, "cheap" gas is the last thing anyone involved in fracking wants to see'.

Sure, they all want to spend their time providing hugely expensive gas.

Just remind me how they make their enormous profits and suck the blood from Mother Gaia by flogging an unsaleable product? Who are the dumb schmucks who are going to buy it?

Dec 22, 2013 at 7:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

There's more on the professional anti-frackers at Barton Moss near Salford in the Telegraph

Dec 22, 2013 at 8:24 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Whether this is the end of his particular road for the greens in the Environment Directorate of the EU remains to be seen.
In short no, they will just take another route , fracking offers a serious risk to those that wish to have an energy crisis as they consider it will be a chance to get ideas that otherwise stand no chance at all , such as a end to personal motorised transport, being pushed onto the people . As extreme as it sound from their 'we saving the planet ' point of view any means will justify the end.

Dec 22, 2013 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

The trolls and other ignorati now imply that fracking should not happen because gas producers want high prices.
So farming should not occur because farmers want high crop and stock prices?
The issue is that farmers and frackers, unlike wind mill scammers, can exist in competitive economies that have price pressure.

Dec 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Didn't I read somewhere that Wych Farm in Dorset has been using fracking for twenty years..?

Dec 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

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